tv Reliable Sources CNN December 7, 2014 8:00am-9:01am PST
six of those 11 times were as with japan in 1941 against various countries during world war ii. thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week, and i will see you next week. good morning. i'm brian stelter and it's time for "reliable sources." ahead this hour, al sharpton, activist, political adviser, and msnbc anchoanchor. how many hats can one guy wear? plus, the president and race. what he says and what he doesn't say. obama's long-time messenger dan firefighter is he pfeifer is here taking us behind the scenes. and new information about the american reporter jail in iran. but we have to begin this morning with a journalistic sin at "rolling stone." it is now making national headlines and it's all about this bombshell article, a rape on campus which described in
brutal detail the gang rape of a freshman named jackie who attended a frat party at the university of virginia two years ago. the university basically ignored her allegations until the moment this article was published, november 19th. it called attention to the prevalence of sexual assault on campuses all across the country which is exactly what the reporter, sa brea reuben early, wanted to have happen. uva's president issued a swift response. she suspended all fraternity activities on campus and promised a full investigation. portions of the 9,000-word story came under scrutiny from other journalists partly because rolling tone's editors agreed when jackie asked them not to contact the seven alleged rapists. the writer only got jackie's side of the story. there are big questions about the accuracy of her account. on friday rolling stone came out and said there were discrepancies and apologized. we should say they have not fully retracted the story. the editors in the meantime have
declined my interview requests but here is what i can report. all this weekend those editors have been belatedly fact checking the article. one anonymous editor told me this, we are taking these matters very seriously. but the fact this this editor refused to be quoted by name shows you just how damaging this has been for "rolling stone." jobs are on the line now. also and frankly more importantly, there are questions and concerns about the damage that might be done to other victims of sexual assault. i have a fellow student who knows jackie standing by in charlottesville and a writer who saw this coming who challenge the "rolling stone" reporter early on. let's establish the facts as we know these with taylor, the post reporter who did the work "rolling stone" did not and he's in washington this morning. taylor, what do we now know are the main diskrip sis between the 9,000-word story and what may have actually happened that night? >> the first thing that came out is the fraternity has denied there was a party on the weekend of september 28th, 2012, which is when jackie said she was
allegedly sexual assaulted at the fraternity house. it is also become clear she's said her attacker may now not have actually been a member of the fraternity. >> and that is a shocking thing to learn because it suggests that the writer in this case was not doing that initial fact checking. have you been able to speak to the "rolling stone" reporter in question. >> i have not. i sent her an e-mail message and asked her to get in touch with me because i wanted to go over some details i had learned and also speak with her about her interaction was jackie. she said she wanted to speak with me but has not yet returned my calls. >> when i have been calling her it says her voice mailbox is full. i guess that says anything, that her voice mailbox does not even accept any more messages. you were able to speak with jackie and she stands by the substance of her story, is that correct? >> yes, entirely. >> what does that signal to you, sk traumatic occurred and we don't know exactly what wha. >> i asked jackie many times to
tell me the truth of what happened to her that night. i wanted to find out from the very beginning as close as possible what the facts were of the case. in speaking with her, she was outgoing. she wanted to tell her story and she told a story that was substantially similar to what appeared in "rolling stone." as i continued to look into the facts of the case, i continued to ask her specific questions about the events of that night. and as we continued to move forward in that story, it became clear that perhaps there were some inconsistencies. i asked her about those and she said the only truth she knows is the truth of what happened and that's what was published in "rolling stone." >> how hard has this been for you to go back and retrace this reporting and raise questions about something that is so sensitive and so traumatic? >> this is obviously a very sensitive topic around the country on college campuses everywhere. i just think it's important as a journalist to look into the facts as best as we can find them. answers are sometimes really hard to find. you know, it's difficult to tell in the end what happens inside a locked room, but it's important to speak to everybody who may
have been inside that room or who may have heard exactly what happened afterwards. >> of course, the vast majority of claims of rape and sexual assault are true. that's according to researchers who have stuyed this. to be studying one case that may not have been as terrible as described in the article should not take away from that basic fact. but taylor, thank you for being here. i want to turn to sandra menendez, a student at uva. she knows jackie and she interns at the university's women's center. and jackie -- sondra, i was hoping to speak with you because you were interviewed by "the rolling stone" reporter. tell me what that experience was like and how you came away feeling after being interviewed. >> yeah. so i was interviewed for "the rolling stone" article for my work through the university of virginia women's center and as my role as a peer advocate for justice for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. i left that article feeling a little bit uncomfortable. i know that a lot of other peer
advocates who were interviewed for the article also felt really uncomfortable after being interviewed and we don't really know if it was the degree of the questions that were being asked because this is such a difficult topic and such a painful topic to talk about or if it was the way certain questions were being presented. >> you told me off air you felt she had an agenda. what was the agenda you thought she was pushing? >> yeah. i think she was trying to tell a really painful story which is that sexual assault really does happen at the university of virginia and also around the united states. i'm not quite sure if the story that was told, you know, really does speak truly to it given that we have so many ideas of like false memory recall or we're still searching for problems in the story, but i do think that the agenda that she was trying to reach, which was like really getting the story out was achieved. i'm just not sure it was done in the most responsible of manners, but some light really will come from this. >> when you read the article,
you noticed other facts you thought were wrong. tell me about the take back the night detail in the story. >> yeah. in the story there were less than 500 souls who were said to have appeared at take back the night. >> that's what sabrina wrote. >> i was the chair -- yeah, that's what sabrina wrote. i was the chair of the rally committee and that was one of our record-breaking years. there was also a comment about the honor committee being reduced to something where students merely just snitch on each other. but she really did force us to look at our university culture. i'm not sure that she had all those facts correct, but, again, she did kind of challenge us, so it's two parts of the story. >> do you feel the real villain here is the writer who came to your campus looking for this narrative? what do you think should happen to her? >> i think the real villain is probably just the big problem of sexual assault on uva campuses
and also around the nation and a global issue. i think that regardless of whether this story is factually true, and regardless of how uncomfortable i felt being interviewed in this article or how uncomfortable other people have felt, i think she brought light to an issue. regardless of whether or not this was true there, was something terrifying and frightening in reading us that hit home to all of us and that's something we need to look at for ourselves. if i -- sorry. go for it. >> i was going to ask you one more thing, sandra, and that's something i'm very concerned about. late last night a right wing website published what is apparently jackie's last name. i'm not going to say it on this program. how do you feel knowing that her last name is being published and it seems like she's going to be targeted who think she made all of this up. >> i feel very fearful, but i also know that we've done so much work at uva and we've had a
call to action and we stand with survivors and i'm going to work my best and i know so many other peer advocates will work their hardest to protect this student. and this university administration is certainly on board with that. >> sandra, thanks for being here this morning. >> thanks so much. >> i have to fit in a break here but i want to broaden this conversation out when we return and keep talking about the ethics of the story. standing by in washington is one of the very first reporters who questioned the reporting in "rolling stone." we'll talk about what made her suspicious and what we can learn from this next.
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welcome back. we are talking about the "rolling stone" article on rape that sent shock waves across the university of virginia but is now in dispute. i want you to imagine that you are interviewing the victim of a crime and that the victim does not want you to contact the criminals. imagine that the victim is afraid of retaliation. what would you do? in this case the "rolling stone" reporter and her editors all agreed not to contact those alleged attackers. this defies a pretty basic journalistic principle, when someone is accused of wrog dong, you make an effort to get their side of the story. now "rolling stone" regrets not doing so. so many people are questioning that reporting instead of questioning a culture that's permitted jackie's story to happen in the first place. hanna rosen questioned the
reporter about this before it became national news and she joins me from washington. where do you come down on this crucial decision requesting rolling stone" made not to contact the accusers. it's a really unusual decision. i think if you're going to do it, which you shouldn't i don't think, but if you're going to do it, then you have to do two things. one, be totally transparent to your readers. >> which they were not. >> they were not. no, have a line in the story which says i made the unusual decision not to contact the assailants because it made my source anxious and this is a sensitive situation. the second thing tough do is corroborate the story with other sources so there are other people you could talk to. her friends she talked to that night or find out if there was a party that night or check at the lifeguard pool. there's lots of other work tough do if you're going to make that decision. >> let me read part of what "rolling stone" said. in trying to be sensitive to the unfair shame and humiliation many women feel after a sexual assault, we made a judge, the kind of judgment reporters and editors make every day.
it goes on to say that we should not have made this agreement with jackie and these mistakes are on "rolling stone," not on jackie. that's a news statement that was revised on saturday night. the original statement was perceived by some to be blaming the victim, blaming jackie. >> i'm so glad they made a second statement. i was feeling about about the first one. it essentially said this is jackie's fault but she's not a journalist. shaetion ju she's just telling her own story. it's on us to know that you have to trust but verify. you have to check the sources. figure out with the story is true because if not you end up in a mess like the one we're in now. >> let me play a clip from msnbc. in 9 -- sabrina was on cnn once before and there were questions raised about her reporting. she was on msnbc's melissa harris perry last saturday. here are a couple sound bites from that segment. >> i think that when we talk about rape and sexual assault,
we've started becoming very mired in euphemism. we call it sexual misconduct, sexual assault, what does that really mean. i thought it was important to show this is not some form of miscondu misconduct. this is a violent crime and it was important to shine a spotlight on just how violent it is. >> before i say anything else, i have to thank you, sabrina, for writing this. i think you've done an act of public service. it is hard to read an article like this and avoid the conclusion that we live in a culture that hates women. just hates us. >> the media outlets that uncritically picked up on this story i think have to do some introspection. on the other hand, "rolling stone" has an excellent reputation. many important stories over the years. do you think this is sample an example of activism journalist gone wrong and should we learn from that? >> yes. part of what went wrong is belief getting in the way of facts. about leaf in two senses. belief in this story. this story is an amazing story.
it's a really important story to be told if it's true. so, you know, wanting the story desperately to be true got in the way, and then also activism in the traditional sense. i mean, that's what -- what happened to sabrina is a little bit getting into the survivor culture which is you can't question a victim which i think is true. it's important not to question the victim if you're her support group because you want -- >> and we've actually made progress in that respect, haven't we? as the decades have passed, the cosby accusers, for example, were not taken as seriously as they should have been. now they are being taken more seriously. that is progress. >> yeah, we have a ways to go. the cosby story couldn't have come at a worst time. you see what it was like in the '70s and '80s. these women were sure nobody would believe them. we are making progress. what you don't want obviously is for a story like this to set back the progress. >> thank you for being here. >> thank you. >> we'll keep covering this story all week long. we'll turn now to the week's other big media story, outrage
over the grand jury decision in the eric garner choke hold case. protests against excessive use of force by police are giving birth to a nationwide movement. ugliness in berkeley, california, windows smashed, smoke deployed. police say two officers were injured by protesters but the other side said several protesters were hurt by police. how is it possibly appropriate that al sharpton is both an adviser to the garner family and a cable news anchor? we'll be back with that in just a moment. ♪ ♪ ♪
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critics by hosting a show on msnbc and leading a civil rights organization. let's look back because he has been right in the thick of it, right in the thick of the national debate about michael brown's death in ferguson, missouri, and eric garner's death here in new york city. >> but if you are choking a man who is down with other police helping and hovering over him, even if the guidelines don't kick in your mind, even if the law don't kick on your mind, after 11 times of "i can't breathe," when does your humanity kick in? >> here is the thing about sharpton. often times the debate is about his involvement. >> stop calling al sharpton a preacher. he's a cleric. he's a dangerous, extremist cleric. >> president obama, if he's serious about trying to bring racial peace to this country, the last thing he should be
doing is having al sharpton sit in the white house. >> has the reverend al sharpton been irresponsible in how he's handled the ferz and new york city grand jury decisions? of course. >> there was a lot of that on cable this week. you might say sharpton wear twos hats, anchor and activist, but really it's a lot more complicated than that. he's wearing like seven hats. a preacher, fund-raiser for his organization, an unofficial adviser to president obama and other administration officials. on wednesday when that grand jury decided not to indict a police officer in eric garner's death, sharpton tweeted that he and garner's widow talked on the phone right away with attorney general eric holder. then he told his msnbc viewers about the call. sharpton is also a confidant of the new york city mayor bill de blasio. here is the cover of "the new york post" calling sharpton the co-mayor. and importantly sharpton is also a sort of grief counselor to families in need like brown's family and garner's family. and then he sometimes seems to be coordinating their media appearances.
garner's mother and widow's first words after the grand jury decision were on sharpton's msnbc show. and then the group traveled uptown for a press conference led by sharpton. remember, msnbc is owned by nbc. i don't think it's a coincidence then that garner's widow and sharpton were both on nbc's "today" show the next morning. so are sharpton's critics right? are they right to resent this? right to call it inappropriate? i have just the right group of people to talk about this beginning with mark moral, the president of the national urban league who worked alongside the reverend and minister jonathan gentry, who has been critical of sharpton's roles. thank you both for being here. >> thank you for having us. >> good to be with you. >> jonathan, we heard glenn beck in that sound bite calling reverend al sharpton a dangerous extremist cleric. do you think that's accurate? do you think that's fair to call him that? >> i mean, you could call him a lot of different things. i just think when it comes to what's happening in this country today, i think he's picking and choosing, and i think not just
myself but millions of other people could just see he wants to pick and choose issues that can keep himself relevant and it shouldn't be like that. people are tired of the racism. people are tired of racism, period, in this country and it's time to move forward. this man wants to come in a place that just perpetuates hate into generations when a lot of these incidents and some of these incidents doesn't even have to do with race. but when he comes into the equation he makes it about race. he forces that down your throat and wants to change the way you think and poison a community and a nation into thinking it's all about black and white and divide the country in half and that's what's not acceptable to myself or to god and a lot of other people in this country. >> mark -- >> it's sickening. >> mark, as an ally of al sharpton, how do you respond to that? >> i don't think the gentleman who is on television today with you can speak for god and say
what god thinks about al sharpton. here is what's true. al sharpton does not need me or anyone else to defend him. but here is what i do know, and that is for a number of decades he's made working on behalf of the victims of police misconduct is very important part of his calling card. now, the reverend has his critics, but what i found in working with him is that he's been an important part of a broad coalition of people, a broad coalition of social justice and civil rights organizations, and the issue herein is that the garner case and certainly the brown case have struck a chord not just with civil rights and social justice organizations but with the thousands of people of all races and backgrounds who are in the streets protesting in new york and all across the country. this conversation with as much about them and their reaction as
it is about anyone else's. >> i'm wondering with the msnbc piece of this. he has a daily show on msnbc, and obviously the channel has supported him, defended him having that position. but do you think that's okay? do you think someone like you, do you think someone with your point of view should have a program to balance him out? >> balancing the man out or however you want to put it is just about us taking responsibility. ask me this and correct me if i'm wrong, i'll leave the studio now, when have you seen an african-american male in the black community say let's clean up our neighborhoods, you all? the same intensity you're seeing across the globe, the foolishness we've seen in ferguson, all over the country, the foolishness you've seen -- when have we put that in our own communities and said let's change who we are? it's time for us to take some responsibility in our communities and our leadership, you know, as far as what we're doing out here. you and i can agree with that. do you understand? that's all i'm saying.
>> i want to make a point for a factual reference. i think in today's world whether you look at fox or to some extent msnbc and many other stations, you see a lot of hosts who write blogs, who lead or participate in organizations. some have radio shows. we're in an age of opinion journalism. it's a different world when it comes to television hosts on television. if you look at a lot of cable televisi television, you see lots of hosts who wear different hats along the way. in that regard, i don't think reverend sharpton is much different. he may be better known, but i don't think he's much different from a lot of other hosts who have a lot of other things that they work on to promote their voice, to promote their work, and to promote their philosophy. >> marcm oriae and jonathan gentry, i appreciate you both being here. i asked sharpton to come on this show this morning and he declined but we talked about
phone on friday and he pointed out jesse jackson had a show on cnn in the 1990s when heading up the rainbow coalition. i would say there's one major difference. jackson's show was on the weekend versus sharpton having a show every day in 6:00 p.m. errol lewis is a cnn commentator and the host 6 "inside city hall." errol, take me through your thoughts about the ethical issues here. are there ethical issues for msnbc to have sharpton anchoring every night? >> i think the answer is a definite maybe. i think for the first time it's probably gotten a little bit sticky. when you see him interviewing somebody who he's also representing in a sort of a political sense or in a civil rights sense, and, you know, then he goes to the justice department or to the white house which the civil rights organization is now petitioning for action, you have to ron der.
it's like well who in all of this stuff is he really speaking to and for? and the short answer is if you like to watch him, if you like to listen to him on the radio, if you're part of his civil rights organization there's no conflict. for the rest of us it's tricky to figure out who he's speaking for. >> i mentioned on wednesday he had the first interview with garner's mom and widow. they happened to be on the way to the studio anywhich before the grand jury decision came in. in some ways it was a weird case of right place, right time. but then they go uptown and have a press conference with sharpton and then they're on the "today" show the next morning. i wondered whether tallahassehe financial relationship at play. he told me no. he said there's no direct financial relationship. seems to me more like he's a counselor or a confidant to these families in their time of need. >> that's right. in the past before he had the media platform that he had, and i have known sharpton for a long
time now, in the past what he would do is walk them over to the new york times or put them in touch with the media source. now it happens you have vertical integration. he is that media source. who better to send them to, right? >> vertical integration. it's a perfect phrase for it. errol lewis, thank you for being here. >> thank you. we have just seen this video of eric garner and seen michael brown in ferguson. why do we show the line for showing beheadings, for showing some deaths but not others. the power of the tape when we come back. get to t-mobile and knock out your gift list. with zero down and zero interest on all the hottest gifts. like the samsung galaxy note 4 and the note 10.1, plus the beats solo 2, the ue boom and more. yep all of them, zero down, zero interest. we know, we're out of control. looks like the big guys job just got easier.
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press play and watch a man die. press play again and watch him die again. if you were watching cable news on wednesday, i think you know what i'm talking about. when a new york grand jury declined to indict a police officer in the choking death of aar eric garner, this ised video that was played almost on a loop here on cnn and other cable
channels and on the local news. one of the reasons why it played and played and played is because it was a powerful tape. i'd argue without that cell phone video, the tragic death ever eric garner would not have been a national story. the video is evidence. it's the reason why commentators from msnbc to fox were almost universally shocked by the grand jury decision. but that evidence is graphic. yet it was sometimes wallpaper that's a tv term we use when we play photos and videos over and over. it was wall papered and garner's widow noticed. she said this about it to al sharpton. >> every day i try to look at tv to keep my mind off of, you know, thinking about what's going on and what had happened and everything, but every time i turn the tv on, i see that video, and then for them to come out with this verdict like they didn't -- it's like they're not even seeing what i saw. >> cell phone cameras are in every pocket. surveillance cameras are on every corner. this issue is not going away.
when confronted by video like this, what is the ethical things for newsrooms to do? let's look at this two ways, one journalistic, one psychological. let me bring in carl bernstein, one half the woodward and bernstein team that cracked own the watergate case. later he was the washington bureau chief for abc news. thanks for being here. >> good to be here. >> with your experience at the "washington post," at abc and elsewhere, do you think it was ethical to have this video playing over and over again this week? >> i think this discussion is a no-brainer in this particular case. obviously, this is news. it's real news, and the news is what the video shows. and we certainly can understand the discomfort of the widow, but she also made the same point, that it shows something somewhat different than the verdict in her view, and that's why it's important. look, i think we need to look at some basics. if you're talking about beheadings that are -- that can become a kind of news video porn
and have a sensationalistic aspect and there's no reason that i can think of that we need to see the actual beheading, the hul moment, then you leave that part out. but in this case it's very easy to know what to do and i don't think we need to even think about it too much. >> so sometimes in the cases like this, we've seen videos or pictures blurred. when michael brown died in ferguson, missouri, some of the foe foes were blurred by organizations like cnn because i think there were blood there and people didn't want to show the blood on television. but in that case, we're not showing the blood, but we are showing a man die on street on staten island. how do we square those two thoughts? >> i would say in the case of ferguson, probably the blood should be shown. we're dealing with human beings here. and we're dealing with people who have been killed by police, and the news is that they have
been killed by police and we ought to be able to see as much as we can to make judgments about what happened and as well as the emotional impact of seeing the victim of a gunshot wound. >> the other recent example of this is that metamir rice th. the video came out and it seemed to contradict the original story told by police. the video can sometimes verify the official account and sometimes contradict it. >> the real thing is that the video shows what occurred as best we can tell, and videos incidentally are not the answer, either legally or existentially because things happen that we don't see in the video that are not part of it, but you take that cleveland case, for example. that video is remarkable. it is the news, and everybody who is concerned about this
story ought to see that video. >> carl bernstein, thank you so much for being here this morning. >> good to be with you. >> now let me turn to another friend of the program here dr. gail saltz, a strike tryst apsy author. what's the impact of seeing something like this over and over again? >> as a public we become desensitized to violence in front of our eyes, to terrible things happening. whether it be on the news constantly and seeing increasi g increasingly graphic images or frankly our entertainment has bled into news, violent video games that are not only watching it but actually doing it, being the actor in it. so we have an increasingly higher threshold for what we view as violent or we shouldn't look at it. i think that's a problem. >> there may be some double standards about what we think is profane and graphic and what is not because people will freak out when you hear a curse word
on television. some of the protesters this week saying "f" cnn because the cameras were on them. but it didn't even occur to me until several hours into the eric garner coverage that i was watching him die over and over again. i noticed the curse words right away but not the violent video. >> that's partially because what is kept from us is basically blood. something like that we're told, okay, don't look at that, and i think it took people a while to figure out that what they were seeing was not the wrestling of somebody to the ground, but actually, you know, essentially the killing of somebody. >> homicide is the word used by the medical examiner. >> exactly. and i don't think people realize that's what it was until they'd already seen it at which point they'd already been desensitized to it and now they're consumed to some degree with watching it. i do think it's important to say though the good news is we're not so desensitized that people aren't outraged and willing to take action. if we were exceedingly like who cares anymore, i have seen this all before, then i don't think
you would see so many people galvanized to protest in a very organized and reasonable fashion but with the kind of power and anger that they do feel because what they're seeing is horrifying to them. >> dr. gail, thank you for being here. >> my pleasure. >> just ahead, there are not many people who get to advise the president of the united states on what to do and how to communicate, but my next guest is one of them. senior adviser and former white house communications director dan pfeifer. he'll join me and tell me all about media and messaging after a quick break.
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we're for an opens you internet for all.sing. we're for creating more innovation and competition. we're for net neutrality protection. now, here's some news you may find even more surprising. we're comcast. the only isp legally bound by full net neutrality rules. with racial tensions seemingly ratcheted up this week, much of the country and even the world, wonder how america's first black president would respond. here he is, president obama, after the garner decision on wednesday. >> this is an american problem and not just a black problem or
a brown problem or a native american problem. this is an american problem. when anybody in this country is not being treated equally under the law, that's a problem. and it's my job as president to help solve it. >> do you ever wonder in moments like that how obama decides what to say and when to say it? what are the con clations made before the president decides his message? one guy knows the answer better than anybody. the president's senior adviser and former communications director dan pfeiffer. i have been wanting to talk to him on question "reliable sourc year. i have a lot to ask him when i sad down with him earlier. >> dan, thank you for joining me. >> thanks for mahaving me. >> there's been criticism of the president for being too restrained for not something everything he wants to say. is he saying everything he wants to say?
>> i don't think a president ever gets to saying everything they want to say about anything. that's the nature of the job. i think certainly there are some of his supporters and allies who would like to -- wish he didn't have that prohibition to speak specifically about specific cases but he does. dole it the best way he can because he's speaking to the entire continue not just his supporters or some side of either of the opinion on this. >> do you think there's too much pressure put on him as the first black president to address issues of race? >> i don't know if it's too much pressure, if she's what probably comes with being the first black president. im i understand why the press wants to hear about that, why people around the country would. there have been times during the course of his time on the public stage that's been very important. the 2008 speech in philadelphia and race came at an important moment. i think people around the country were struck when the president went to the briefing room in the white house last year to talk about the trayvon martin verdict and how -- to be able to show to the country, help explain to the entire country based on his experiences
why so many african-americans felt the way they did about this case. >> let me play you a sound bite from that moment. >> when trayvon martin was first shot, i said that could have been my son and another way of saying that is that trayvon martin could have been me. >> so was that scripted, played ahead of time? >> no, in fact, when he went to the briefing room for long set of remarks for, this he said specifically, he didn't want written remarks and i specifically didn't go there, because i didn't think that it was potentially the best format for long discussions of complicated issues and i said, what do you want to say, and he said word-for-word without notes what he said in the briefing, and so that came through to the people. >> and i was struck that the white house watched the garner tape, and he had watched
garner's death, and with were you surprised by that? >> no, he is the first internet president, and has an ipad and he is siis seeing what american when he is surfing -- >> he watched it on youtube? >> i don't know the format and maybe linked to to a news site maybe cnn.com, but he consumes the news like many americans, tablet or computer. >> and he says there are times when we have not been successful in letting people know what it is that we are trying to do and why this is the right direction, and that sounds to me like criticism of the white house communications structure, and is that criticism of the white house communication and how much of that falls on you? >> the point that the president is making is one that we have been making for a long time is that it is hard to get good news covered. this is not a new thing. you know, it is a long time, local news is covering the building on fire.
and there are not a lot of good store is are on the fire prevention, but covering the building that falls down and not when it is rebuilt, and that is a fact of life, and the world is changing in a way it is harder for us to get the message out, and hard for us and harder for the next president. so we have to constantly look at ways to do that and we are looking at new and innovative ways to do it. >> and what is the recent disagreement with the p president, and i'm interested in the times of the messaging and the communicating and he decides to go in a different direction than you? >> well, it does happen. the president's natural instinct is to always address the elephant in the room, and sometimes it may fit with what is the message of the day, and that is a debate that we have, and he almost win s ts the deba because he is president, and he can do that and but there is an inherent tension that we have with which is doing what we have to deal with which is the white
house press corps asking the questions, and they will be held to account, and the american people can be seeing him held to that interaction and that is important, but there is also not an e efficient way to communicate with the public at large. so we can do that, but we have to also do things like appearing on espn and do the late night talk shows or chat with mark zuckerberg or chat on town halls. >> and this is the theme of communicating with the president on new ways, and is there any of them that fell flats? >> yes, lots. part of this is that know one knows the answer to how you wrestle with this contradiction. and people the in this country are more interested in issues and engage manage the community than they have been in, in recent memory, and yet all of the traditional means of the gathering that information is in getting viewership, and how do you get the people to that, and so there is no secret sauce. so we throw things against the
wall. >> and we did between the two ferns with sac galifianakis? is that one that you wish you had not done? >> well, it is signing up for health care, and it is successful and we felt good about that one. and there are things that we have done, and i'm trying to think about one, but i don't think that we had a disaster on the hands, but turned out to be not worth the time. >> and dan pheifer, thank you for being on and good to talk to you. >> sure. no problem. >> and tomorrow, steven colbert, will have with one of the most powerful men on the final shows. and as you know, his show comes to the an end on december 18th, and then he is going to be taking over for david letterman. and so it should be an
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the only problem with conference calls: eventually they have to end. unless you have the comcast business voiceedge mobile app. it lets you switch seamlessly from your desk phone to your mobile with no interruptions. i've never felt so alive. get the future of phone and the phones are free. comcast business. built for business. >> welcome back. if the you have a chance to google the name today of luke somers, please do and look at the lovely pictures. he was held hostage if in yemen held by al qaeda, and we learned that he was killed in an attempted rescue mission. he was 33 years old. you can read my profile of his life and career on cnn.com.
there is more troubling news from the middle east about jason raise yon in iran. he has been detained for four months, and the iranians say that he has been officially charged with what crimes we don't know. and marty barron called it appalling. it is disgraceful treatment of a good and just man. there is no justification for the imprisonment, and just as there is no just reason for his imprisonment in the first place. and now, to hand it off to candy crowley, cnn announced that candy is about to leave cnn after 27 brilliant years. and our colleague dana bash said that candy represents the soul of cnn snan mouse with political reporting. and what is candy going to to do next? we don't know, but this is what she said, after 27